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Helion Prime - Question Everything Award winner

Helion Prime
Question Everything
by Neil Cook at 13 October 2020, 4:57 PM

HELION PRIME wear their Sci-Fi inspirations large.  The band is named after a planet featured in the Vin Diesel franchise science fiction film The Chronicles Of Riddick. Their second long player had the title “Terror Of The Cybernetic Space Monster”.  But then Rock and Metal music has had a long tradition of such influences, BLUE OYSTER CULT have made many a song and album which is as Sci-Fi as could be for example. For a band from Sacramento, CA, they have a very European Power Metal sound, possibly because of the female vocals from Mary Zummer. Whilst this does give them an EPICA/NIGHTWISH vibe, her vocals are less operatic and they are certainly less Folky Metal than the latter, no less dramatic, just not so over the top, a decent balance struck.

The opening track “The Final Theory” sets the tone well and is a strong opener leading into “Madam Mercury”, which carry’s on in a similar tone, and has some great soloing but isn’t quite as strong, I think it is the chorus that sits a bit off for me. However “Prof” starts with a very MAIDEN-esque guitar, and bounces along nicely, with some waoh-oo’s thrown in for good measure to keep the IRONS feel. The guitars are again the stars from he beginning of “The Gadfly” (a Gadfly is a person who challenges people in power, or questions the Status Quo). The song is a multi-paced  tune with a strong guitar sound and layered vocals and time changes.  “Photo 51” picks up the pace and again has some great guitar work.  Both songs tell great stories, do I wish I knew a bit more about their meaning, yes but it doesn’t spoil my listening pleasure.

However intrigued by the title “E pur Si Muove” I let the almighty Google inform me. Translated as “and yet it moves”, a phrase Galileo said after being forced to recant his claims that the Earth moved around the Sun. All of which you can pick up in the lyrics of the song, how it was because of religion he was forced to deny his theory.  Oh and it is my favorite track. “Words Of The Abbot” is a close second.  A belter of a fast paced song, with a great male vocal part, equally as strong as Mary’s delivery. “The Forbidden Zone” is more of the same, and yet another great lead solo.  The structure of the song is quite dramatic, which works with the restrained vocal delivery.

Title track “Question Everything” definitely takes us in a NIGHTWISH direction, at least in my ears.  Its fast, but with an oddly light touch.  It is the closest any track comes to a Symphonic structure, but the heavy guitars keep grounded, just! “Reawakening”, the one with everything, literally, this one has all the elements and tropes you would expect from a Power Metal band playing this type of long, balladic, melodramatic song. Acoustic guitars, powerful vocal delivery, wailing solos, a Piano outro and much more besides.  A by the numbers type of song. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t bad, the opposite is true, but it is expected, Unlike…

The last thing I was expecting MISFITS covers! “Kong At The Gates/Forbidden Zone”.  Oh my frikkin god! How you can take some shlock horror Psyco-billy, give it a little PM polish without knocking the puck out of it and deliver a something that sounds so much fun and kitch. I thought I was listening to an outtake from the Rocky Horror Show (when JOAN JETT appeared in it).  What a great way to finish an album! And brings us back to the Sci-Fi connections, in a totally unexpected way. More bands should take note, you are allowed to have some fun, it doesn’t all have to be so serious!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Final Theory
2. Madame Mercury
3. Prof
4. The Gadfly
5. Photo 51
6. E pur Si Muove
7. Words Of The Abbot
8. The Forbidden Zone
9. Question Everything
10. Reawakening
11. Kong At The Gates/Forbidden Zone
Lineup:
Mary Zimmer – Vocals
Jason Ashcraft – Rhythm Guitar
Chad Anderson – Lead Guitar
Jeremy Steinhouse – Bass
Alexander Bosson - Drums
Record Label: Saibot Reigns
     


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Edited 30 October 2020
 

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